« on: January 26, 2011, 11:14:55 AM »
Very well put, IMO. Obviously I cannot give even as much advice as you do, being a 0L. What I do have, is quite a bit of experience and other successful careers behind me. You know what they say about hindsight. It's true. My own experiences have led me not to want BigLaw, and all the money and crap that goes with it. Luckily, my age and debt aversion won't even allow BigLaw onto the radar.
I will most likely either attend a T3/T4 here in Florida (Stetson/FIU), or if very lucky pay the very low tuition at FSU/UF. I came to these conclusions for many of the same reasons you state. Depending on my LSAT score, I might have an outside chance at some $$ from mid/lower T1's. I have decided that if the relative cost (with scholly $$) is similar to UF/FSU, I will consider them. Retired military officers, especially "war veterans" are at a distinct advantage for employment in the public sector--in any location. I believe as long as I can be in the top 25-30% or so, I should be able to find something. I have even had feelers from a couple of the small-midsize firms I have worked with here locally, so small-firm law is not out of the question for me, either.
OP should follow their gut. The very last thing one wants is to make a hasty decision that results in a mountain of non-dischargeable debt. If BigLaw is your target, then aim at the T-14 and prepare for the payments. If not, there really are other options.